Global Security Headlines

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Democratic Iraq Votes, Bush Vindicated

credit: AFP

Former US President George Bush is vindicated - more than 70% of Iraqis flocked to provincial elections amid tight security on Saturday and exercised their democratic right to participate in the electoral process.

Headlines now ring more about elections than suicide attacks against Allied or Iraqi forces. The intrepid will of the Iraqi people to gamble on a democratic future must be applauded.

Al Quayda and Iranian-Syrian efforts to upend a free Iraq have so far failed.

Meaningful selection of one's rulers in the Middle East is rare except in Israel and Afghanistan. For that fact alone, these countries are despised by many.

The most powerful force for change in the region is the example of Iraq's pluralism sandwiched between autocratic states Syria and Iran. A little freedom is dangerous for unpopular regimes.

Iraq's democratic experiment thus is dangerous for not only these two neighbors, but to the other unelected in the region.

Part of the frustration in the Arab street is the inability to express in a constructive manner the will and passion of the people about the circumstances around them.

UPI reports in Ramadi Iraqi police cars blasted festive music outside a polling station as one man looked on with his 7-year-old brother: "I want him to learn about democracy," the man said.

Saddam Hussein must be turning in his grave.

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